It is MMD that sold Black Mountain, protests PF’s Alex Chiteme

By Hellen Nsokolo

Just like Potius Pilate washed his hands on Jesus Christ, the ruling Patriotic Front has distance itself from selling Black Mountain   to  foreigners  saying it is the  Movement for Multiparty Democracy(MMD)  that gave up the huge  dump slag, leaving many residents in the cold.

Nkana Member of Parliament Alexander Chiteme who had a torrid time explaining Nkana Alloy take over of Black Mountain said it was MMD that was on rampage selling mines that gave up the slag dump.

He said the MMD sold 90% shares of the dump slag and that the  PF government only inherited  10 percent shares which it gave up to the people of Copperbelt for survival means.

Chiteme, however said the   10% shares government offloaded to the residents created confusions and notorious people with selfish motives took advantage of the situation to empower their pockets.

ENRC Africa BV sold its 90% stake  in Nkana Alloy to Tianjin Maolin Technology Limited while ZCCM HI has maintained its 10% shares holding. The deal between ENRC and Tianjin was concluded in February, 2014.

The mining and surface rights were transfered to Nkana Alloys.

The outspoken Nkana law maker said there was too much lawlessness because of lack of committees to represent the interest of the  Copperbelt residents.

Chiteme said government has been put in  awkward position by bad businessmen  such that it cannot just give  its shares to the residents in a disorganized environment.

” We had only 10 percent which we gave to the people but people with selfish motives started creating confusion,” Chiteme said, ” Government can’t give the 10 % shares to the public in unstable environment. There will be confusion. I am glad that Mines Minister Christopher Yaluma has started negotiations with Nkana Alloys  to see how best government can use its shares to empower its people,” he said.

Chiteme said the best way is for government to give the 10 percent to the investors so that in exchange they build schools, hospitals and police stations.

He said the other alternative is for  government  to leave the 10% to the community on condition that they form committees  to look into their interests.

On May 29, notorious  copper thieves commonly known as Jerabos and police ran running battles, leaving one dead and two seriously injured.

This was when the notorious thieves, Chiteme kept on referring to as selfish individuals in his interview on Radio Phoenix, attempted to break into the premises of Nkonkola Copper Mines(KCM).

This was in protest against Government’s move  only to negotiate  a pantry  10% shares for them and leaving a big stake to foreigners.

Small Scale Mining Association of Zambia(SSMAZ) president Simon Njovu said  government should negotiate the larger stake for the residents, saying the 10% is way too small.